The Manor F1 Team are have been given special dispensation to race in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday from the FIA stewards despite seeing both cars outside of the 107% rule during qualifying.
Roberto Merhi was the only Manor driver to make it out on track at Sepang, but his time was just over four tenths of a second slower than the 107% cut off point, while team-mate Will Stevens was kept in the pit lane during the session after his car developed a fuel system problem during free practice in the morning that took time to fix.
“We were hoping to make the 107% time today, and that is what we have been pushing for through the weekend,” said Merhi. “Unfortunately we missed out by 0.4s in the end.
“In the three sessions Will has shown that the car is thereabouts on pace, while I had a spin in FP3 today so, along with yesterday, I have not been able to achieve the consistent running I wanted to for the team.
“Coming into this, our first weekend on track, we were aware that we have a lot of hard work to do and that this is just the start. So although we are disappointed for the qualifying result, we have to keep focus on what we have achieved to be here and to be able to begin our development.”
Team-mate Stevens was naturally disappointed to not take to the track during the session, but hopes to be allowed to race after setting a time in practice that would have seen him comfortable qualify for the race.
“Obviously I was very disappointed not to take part in qualifying,” reflected Stevens. “In FP3 we had a fuel system problem and we were trying to resolve that, but sadly we weren’t able to get on top of it in time for me to take part.
“Looking at the positives, as we always try to do, the practice sessions showed promise and my times were within the 107% throughout Friday. Step by step we’ll get there.”